Aston Villa players have reportedly been banned from playing Fantasy Premier League, following a possible leak regarding Jack Grealish’s injury.
Recent years have seen a real surge of interest in participating in fantasy football, with fans, as well as professional players, now heavily invested in rising up the overall rankings and asserting their dominance within mini-leagues.
With participants looking to make informed decisions in order to create the best possible squad, many seek to uncover insider information, in order to learn about potential injuries or absences.
While it previously has had no real baring on the actual live football itself, this week saw the potential pitfalls of allowing Premier League players to participate, after a potential leak regarding Jack Grealish’s recent injury.
That leak has now seen Aston Villa boss Dean Smith reportedly ban his players from playing Fantasy Premier League, according to the Daily Mail, with other clubs also looking to follow suit.
⚠️🔻 [AVL] Multiple insiders transferred OUT Grealish!
— FPL Insider (@insider_fpl) February 19, 2021
Although Smith had not disclosed that the England international may be unavailable due to injury – prior to their game with Leicester City – a twitter account named ‘FPL Insider’ revealed that a selection of Villa first-team players and staff had removed Grealish from their fantasy teams.
With FPL players having to submit their transfer 90 minutes before the first league game of the weekend – which came on Friday between Wolves and Leeds United – anyone could then see who has been transferred out by other users.
As users are not able to stay private, it allows anyone who knows how to access the teams of Premier League players and potentially figure out a possibly key piece of information.
In Villa’s case, with their league fixture not coming until Sunday, the leak effectively alerted their opponents that star man Grealish would be absent in advance, thus potentially giving Brendan Rodgers’ side an advantage.
After losing the game 2-1, former Brentford boss Smith was seething and vowed to get to the bottom of just how his player’s injury had become known publicly.